Sorry for the lack of posts but have been busy moving country. Hope to have some interesting news shortly!
Originally posted on Fighting for Hope's Blog:
Below is an old video I came across recently and it prompted me to highlight the neutering work undertaken by the Cats Protection. The Cats Protection is the largest single cat neutering group in the world.
In December 2013, Science Daily reported on a research finding that widespread ignorance amongst cat-owners about the sex lives of their pets may be leading to more than 200,000 unplanned litters, equivalent to more than 850,000 kittens every year in the UK.
In August 2013, Science Daily reported on research showing that feral cats which undergo a vasectomy or hysterectomy could reduce a feral colony’s numbers more effectively than the traditional approach of neutering.
As you will have read in my last few posts we, my wife Stef, our seven cats and two dogs, have moved to Co Mayo in sunny Ireland! The move was a story in itself, but suffice to say although the animals all travelled well, it is not a trip we would want to repeat in a hurry!
Having kept the cats indoors for ten days, we were more than a little concerned that once we opened the door and let them into the damp Irish air (and it has been damp!) they would make a beeline back towards Spain. But the good news is they seem to love it here and have settled in well.
So now I have to decide what I want to concentrate on involving animal welfare in the future. Whilst WTFAW has been great, it does not provide the hands on approach I have been used to for most of my life.
One thing my Mother was very keen on, was the interaction between animals and children with special needs. She started The Elisabeth Svendsen Trust for Children and Donkeys which over the last twenty plus years has helped thousands of children all over the UK and in Northern Ireland. I believe that the benefit is mutual as donkeys are intelligent creatures and love to be kept occupied. I was personally involved in setting up the first projects in the UK and later in Spain and Italy. I can say from experience, that the benefits to both human and animal are significant. My most memorable moment was when we made our very first visit to a school in Spain and a little girl with cerebral palsy’s face lit up as she stroked her donkey, and how she laughed out loud with pleasure as he freed her from the confines of her wheelchair. Her carer’s said they had never seen her laugh like that before. Donkeys can also bring great joy to the older generation. So many people who have lived most of their lives in the country miss contact with animals when confined to a home, and a visit from a friendly donkey will often bring back happy memories.
Having set up and run The Donkey Sanctuary in Ireland, I know that neither they or the other welfare organisations in Ireland can cope with the number of donkeys and horses who are suffering terrible hardship at the moment. Whilst our small plot of land can not provide a solution to the problems facing equines in Ireland, we may help to get the message out that donkeys and other “pets” are not just for amusement or sport, but can make a real difference to the lives of people, and deserve to be treated with respect.
I am considering starting an animal assisted therapy project here in Ireland involving rescued donkeys, people with special needs and residents in old people homes. For the moment I will keep WTFAW active and post everything from the new project here.
I would be really interested in hearing your thoughts on this.
Here are a few before pictures of the facilities. As you will see, there is a bit of work to do!
They walk in circles for hours and hours accompanied by the blare of music and screaming children. They are given no more rights then their wooden counterparts, who at least cannot suffer. What message do we give our children about respecting the dignity of the animals we share this planet with. If they do not realise the suffering the ponies endure as they enjoy their rides, what hope of them becoming adults who will respect the rights of animals in the future.
Please sign this petition and add your voice to the thousands who have already done so
Sorry about the lack of posts recently but we are in the middle of moving from Spain to Southern Ireland. With seven rescue cats and 2 dogs it is no simple matter and I have just arrived back at our home in Spain with a large van and a horse-box which I am currently converting to give the animals a comfy home for the three-day journey .
The property, pictured above has two acres of land and it will be a real base where WTFAW can provide more practical animal welfare solutions.
We plan to be in the new property by the 8th of May so will be quite busy to that point and a little beyond I suspect! I will try to update the site as often as I can in the meanwhile.
Having just moved to rural Ireland I have discovered the joys of foraging on my early morning walks. If I survive my experiments I will post a few recipes for you to try, safe in the knowledge that i tried it on myself first :)
Dandelions are the scourge of most gardeners, but all the plant can be eaten and they are great in salads or in dishes like this. I have been told the open flowers are great dipped in tempura batter and deep-fried, so will be trying that one soon!
Find young plants and pluck the closed buds and leaves. Do not pick from busy roadsides.
Serves one so just multiply for several diners
Splash olive oil
1 small red onion (or wild onion if you can find them)
Half handful of dandelion buds unopened
2 cloves of garlic (replace with wild garlic if you can find it
½ cup risotto rice
A couple of medium mushrooms chopped.
1 handful of dandelion leaves washed without stalks
Splash dry white wine
A cup and a half of vegetable stock
1 Tablespoon hummus
Chop the onions, crush and chop the garlic and put into pot along with the dandelion buds. Sweat for a few minutes, then add the rice and sweat for a couple more. Add mushrooms and wine, and cook until liquid has gone. Add half a cup of stock and the dandelion leaves and simmer stirring occasionally, gradually adding more stock as needed. When rice is cooked add seasoning and stir in Hummus. Serve with a couple of slices of your favourite bread and a squeeze of lemon.
I rise to meet the salty roof of my world
To breathe the life giving air and then again
To dive deep to safety sounding my intent
The risk is above but I need to breathe
Over vast distances we communicate with power
Our voices reaching kin a hundred miles distant
We tell of events giving news of life and death
And listen to the danger closing from all sides
The thrum of steel goliaths is a constant companion
Their alien sounds drives fear deep into our ancient hearts
They move above with greedy and relentless intent
They will turn our watery world blood red
For thousands of years our journeys gave us life
Now they are the cause of our demise
The steel goliaths know well our plans
But we cannot change and we must breathe
Screams of anguish from ancient friends close by
Invade the senses and warn me to dive, but I cannot
I must rise; I need the life giving air to fill my lungs
I must risk again the steel and explosion of death
So close now the time to expose my life once again
Light now infusing my world with terrible images
I know the voices wracked with pain and despair
I feel for their souls ripped unprepared from body
My turn now a final push, I drive upwards just one intent
Leaving my world of watery support for seconds only
To breathe enough life giving air to live a while longer
Then dive to the safety of the deep beyond goliaths reach
Human eyes with vicious intent focus on my mortality
The goliath drives against salty embrace to reach me
In haste to end my life to launch spear and explosion
A greed fuelled finger can end my existence now
I fall towards the wave capped border of my world
Lungs filled I hear a deafening roar, a hiss of ruptured air
All that I am and was lives or dies in these seconds
Decided in this moment of ultimate greed
In an explosion of a thousand watery tons
I enter my world again and dive for safety
Sounding my return to friend and family
Above the roar, bang and scream of goliath thwarted
I have survived again to dive deep and be safe
To rejoice my survival for a little while longer
But above the goliath with patient malice waits
For me to breathe again
Some good news for a change! Since 2005 Japan has harpooned 3600 Minke Whales but now they are being forced to stop the killing.
Read more in the Guardian Online HERE.
Lets just hope the Japanese Government does not find some way to get around the ban.